Travel is a modern day luxury. If we go back 80 years or so the only way to travel over great distances was on a boat. A sailing vessel could take a couple of months to complete the crossing, while steam ships reduced the time considerably. Still, trips of any distance took time and a ton of money to make happen.
I travel a great deal, due to work and pleasure. The work trip gives me the airline miles that help fuel my pleasure trips. I also appreciate how lucky I am to be able to travel as much as I do. Even in this day and age, few people have the disposable income to take too many trips. Because of this, I decided to write a series of blog posts on how I plan, execute and follow up with all my trips. Hopefully you will be able to get some ideas from these posts.
I note each place I like, the time of day it was shot in and how important that image would be to my portfolio. I then look to see if I can guess the kind of lens used to capture the image. Was it a wide angle, a normal or a zoom lens? Was the vantage point high or low? You can even print out the picture, cut it out and stick it into your photo notebook, I usually just write the name and location of the image.
I then download a map of Paris, usually aiming for a tourist map which usually has the key places marked on it. I start to look over the different potential routes, starting with he scene I want to capture in early morning and ending with the scene I want to capture at dusk. I route my path through the city which will allow me to capture everything I want.
In the example above I show what I would typically do. So I will start with the Eiffel Tower and end with the Sacre Coeur church. You will see that my walk takes me across the Seine river and allows me to cross a few bridges. This increases my chances of shooting some nice shots along the way. Remember it is not just about the designation but about the walk itself.
People who have been to Paris will ask me if I would take the subway and my answer is no. Subways are very practical but you see very little of the city. A nice walk is always better that a dark tunnel ride.
I put a small copy of the map in my photo notebook along with my shot list. I will even draw a few of the important shots so that I can visualize it better. Once all safely put in my notebook my planning is done and I am ready to pack. I should mention that I will usually pick a place to have lunch at. Something with some character. With a bit of planning you can avoid finding yourself far from any nice restaurants and lunchtime...remember "tea first, then photography".
This ends Part1: Planning a Trip